County Courthouse |
"The old Irion County courthouse in Sherwood is surrounded
by empty fields and a smattering of residences and mobile homes. The near desolation
adds a nostalgic charm to this remarkable building." - Terry
Jeanson, June 2005 photo
a familiar case of death-by-railroad, Mertzon
became the county seat in 1936. This was merely a technicality since Sherwood
had all but been abandoned when the railroad by-passed it by two miles in 1910.
The now privately owned courthouse is available for special events and
festivals. The clock faces had painted hands. This was not an uncommon practice
in counties across the U.S. in the 19th Century.
The present Irion
County Courthouse in Mertzon is one of the ugliest in Texas. The entire Irion
County population is less than 2,000 with about half living in Mertzon.
Nearby is the site of the Battle of Dove Creek, although it is on private
land. This fight took place in January of 1865 and involved a Confederate Frontier
Battalion and a large number of Kickapoo Indians who were en route to Mexico (where
they remain today). The Confederates engaged the Indians who were well defended
by terrain. A rare snow was falling and after the battle the defeated Southerners
resorted to eating some of their horses. Nothing was accomplished except for creating
a hostile border environment for many years later. The Kickapoo Indians today
maintain dual Mexican - U.S. Citizenship.
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Courthouse historical marker.|
Jeanson, June 2005
permanent courthouse for Irion County, locally organized 1889. Replaced temporary
housing in several buildings. Site was gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ripley. Contractors:
Martin and Moody. Stone was quarried nearby.
Courthouse was used for dances,
teachers' institutes, community events; yard, for summer socials.
to keep out grazing stock, approach was by a stile over fence beside which were
water troughs and hitching posts for teams and saddle horses.
A 1936 election
made Mertzon county seat.
Once pride of area, this is now a community center.
County Courthouse in Mertzon
The courthouse's clock tower with the time painted on.|
Jeanson, June 2005
Texas Forum While
it is true that the Kickapoo do live near Nacimientos, Coahuila, Mexico, they
also live near Eagle
Pass, Texas and in Kansas and travel between all locations freely. I really
enjoy Texas Escapes and thank you for your dedicated work on it. - Bick Eubanks,
June 22, 2002
was recently doing some metal detecting in the Mertzon, Tx. area and found a token
with the following on one side: Ranchman's Retreat J.W. Murphy - Propr. Sherwood
Texas and the following on the other: Good for one 12 1/2cent drink. If you could
help me identify this piece, or give me some idea where I might get additional
information, it would be greatly appreciated. - Ray Bartek, May 10, 2002
Book Your Hotel Here & Save
Irion County map|
Courtesy Texas General Land Office